Once the goal is set, you need the roadmap to get there. Perhaps, the most essential component of a successful training program is its ability to meet the needs of the athlete.
Many people search for a program that will push them to work as hard as possible, which leads to high levels of fatigue and diminishing returns. Sometimes, we need to work harder – but more often, we need to work smarter. An effective balance of strategy and hard work paves the road from 'goal' to 'achievement.'
In your search for a great training plan, think through these three questions:
1. Does the program consider your current ability level?
For example, if you have the goal of a stronger squat, bench press, or deadlift, an effective training plan will program workouts based on percentages of your current one rep max. Similarly, for a speed or endurance goal, your training plan should consider your personal bests for a given distance.
2. Is your training supported by data?
You should be able to input and assess performance metrics from each workout and track data like sets, reps, miles, pacing splits, etc. This information will help you identify whether you are on track or just spinning your wheels.
3. Can you adapt the plan to meet your needs?
Great athletes understand that they must be able to adapt and change for the best results. Any program that you follow should allow for flexibility. You can decide what is best for you by adjusting your training schedule, autoregulating based on recovery demands, and learning more about yourself as an athlete.
Progress and personalization go hand in hand. Find a training plan that accounts for your characteristics as an athlete and discover the tremendous results of better programming.